The NBA welcoming back big crowds for the playoffs has helped make for some great atmospheres. However, it has also led to a number of ugly fan incidents in the past week, and now Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is speaking out about how this can be fixed.
Lillard said Monday that while it's hard to police all fan behavior, there need to be severe consequences for unruly fans who cross the line. Instead of these fans just being banned from the arena where they committed the offense, they should be banned from all NBA games, according to the Blazers point guard.
I asked Damian Lillard today after practice what he thinks actually could and should be done about recent fan incidents. His perspective: pic.twitter.com/SV2DG3QJQM
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) May 31, 2021
One would hope having these kinds of consequences in place would deter fans from being stupid, but fan anger and alcohol often lead people to do stupid things. Still, it might not be a bad idea to adopt the Blazers star's ideas.
As noted, there have been a number of ugly fan incidents in the NBA of late. Russell Westbrook got popcorn thrown at him. Trae Young got spit on. Ja Morant's family had racist comments yelled at them. Immanuel Quickley had beer thrown in his vicinity. Kyrie Irving had a water bottle thrown at him. It's a long list of nonsense that has no place at sporting events.
Having fans in the stands is usually a good thing because of the passion and home-court advantage it creates. But doing this kind of stuff and being racist toward players is out of line and needs to be stopped. Dame is certainly hoping nothing like this happens involving Blazers fans now and in the future.